Mom who chronicled COVID-19 ordeal says virus gave her glaucoma
Survivor Corps founder Diana Berrent, 46, chronicled for The Post her battle with COVID-19 again in March. She thought her ordeal with the virus was over when she examined detrimental, however six months later, she suffers from signs she believes have been introduced on by the sickness, together with a current prognosis of glaucoma.
Once I acquired COVID in March, I used to be shocked as a result of as a particularly wholesome 45-year-old I hardly thought I might be among the many first New York space identified with a respiratory sickness that I believed was solely presupposed to badly have an effect on the aged and the immunocompromised. Every part about that assumption turned out to be fallacious.
You don’t want me to inform you that we’re all weak to the virus. As New Yorkers we wept as we misplaced family members by March and April because the virus tore by our metropolis; we’ve all learn the obituaries and know the horror tales of oldsters dropping kids and kids dropping dad and mom.
And I discovered the virus introduced extra rocky ups-and-downs than a case of the flu. I skilled the mornings that might begin of effective however then flip into afternoons of dread, labored respiratory and soul-crushing complications.
However after I recovered I scampered out of my bed room the place I had spent 18 days in isolation, into the nice and cozy hugs of my household, I believed I used to be completed with the virus. In spite of everything, I had lastly examined detrimental for the virus and constructive for the antibodies. I simply assumed, just like the flu, it was over.
My abdomen continued to hassle me however I used to be decided to achieve the load I had misplaced (phrases I by no means imagined uttering) and the energy that had left me unable to train. As soon as recognized for outlasting brides and grooms at their very own weddings, I might barely keep awake till 9 p.m.
It’s been six months; I nonetheless can’t keep up previous 9 p.m and I can’t train in any respect, as soon as part of my every day routine. Shadows of my acute signs have returned in current months, like waves. Extreme nausea, deep interior ear ache and complications come and go; every morning it appears like I’m reaching right into a buying bag to select the symptom of the day.
The nausea was so unrelenting, at one level, I went to pressing take care of a prescription for something that might take it away (I had by no means skilled nausea aside from throughout pregnancies and that didn’t maintain a candle to this); I introduced as so symptomatic that, regardless of my pleas, they insisted on giving me a COVID check.
Figuring out it will be detrimental (sure, there have been a handful of reinfections however they’ve been so few and much between what would the possibilities be?) I requested an antibody check too. As anticipated, the diagnostic check was detrimental and regardless of the persistent signs, my antibodies remained excessive.
That blurry imaginative and prescient has been upsetting; I used to be an expert photographer till I acquired COVID and at all times took pleasure in my eyesight. I had lately gone for a full eye examination with all clear marks earlier than COVID. As one of many extraordinarily fortunate ones who was in a position to get into Mount Sinai’s Submit-COVID Care Middle, I went to an ophthalmologist final week who identified me with glaucoma.
I might say I’m devastated however it hasn’t actually sunk in but. I additionally met with a GI specialist who identified me with post-COVID IBS (which I interpret to imply, they’d no concept what was fallacious) and a doctor who ordered an MRI of my head.
The medical neighborhood is stumped, however they should begin taking “long COVID” critically and appearing. We, as sufferers, will information them. If we’re going to be guinea pigs with a novel virus, allow us to assist pave the best way in direction of restoration.
One of many different misconceptions we had initially was that this was a respiratory virus. Now that we all know it has extra to do with the vascular system, we’re beginning to perceive why it’s ravaging each single organ system.
I started a grassroots COVID movement referred to as Survivor Corps that now has over 100,000 members. Once I spend time on these pages I notice that I among the many fortunate ones; so many individuals who had delicate to common “Gatorade and Tylenol” variations of COVID like mine are not recovering. The CDC estimates one out of three sufferers don’t recover quickly and we now have already skyrocketed previous six million infections nationally. You don’t should be an epidemiologist to do the mathematics and see that we now have a public well being disaster looming behind the one we’re actively preventing.
In Survivor Corps we now have members of their 20s who have been marathon runners and are on month 5 of getting a fever each single day and can’t stroll up a flight of stairs. We’ve got younger beforehand wholesome males (however largely girls) residing the lives of the aged. Each motion hurts; each physician’s appointment ends in a brand new prognosis. Excessive neurological signs are leaving individuals with mind fog, unable to seek out their phrases. And it’s secure to say that each single individual will say that their psychological well being has suffered.
COVID is stealing away from these individuals their prime years. We’d like medical analysis to maneuver, at warp velocity, to come back to assistance from COVID survivors. Quite than gaslighting them with diagnoses of hysteria (actually, who isn’t anxious lately?) take long-haul COVID victims critically. Submit-COVID care facilities should be established nationally. And please know that this isn’t only a matter of the flu or ending up on a vent. There’s a very massive bucket within the center, the place I’m, the place you don’t wish to be.